Category Archives: Students

EC Scholars provide service, reflect on four-year journey

Over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, 17 EC Scholars traveled to Charleston, South Carolina where they led a service project at the Ronald McDonald House, connected with East Carolina University alumni and reflected on their four-year journey together.

(Contributed photo)

(Contributed photo)

The annual senior impact trip also included an outing to Fort Sumter to learn more about the history of Charleston.

At the Ronald McDonald House, students cleaned, removed holiday décor, cleaned the food pantry, organized the linen closet and freshened up rooms.

The also painted an elephant face on a pop can tab collector. Ronald McDonald Houses nationwide collect pop tabs as a fundraiser.

The senior class described their time together as “entertaining, meaningful and rejuvenating,” said Dr. Diana Majewski, assistant director of the EC Scholars, who accompanied the students on the trip along with Dr. Todd Fraley, director of EC Scholars.

To view photos from the trip, visit:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecuhonorscollege/albums/72157677587716551

 

-by Crystal Baity

College of Nursing graduate named Air Force ROTC Distinguished Graduate

Jonathan Jeffries, a recent graduate of East Carolina University’s College of Nursing, was named a Distinguished Graduate at his Air Force ROTC commissioning ceremony in December.

The honor is given to the top 10 percent of the Air Force ROTC graduating class nationwide, which this year included 1,815 graduates from 144 detachments. The award is predicated on success and leadership in academics, ROTC and in the community.

Jonathan Jeffries, right, receives a sabre in recognition of being named a Distinguished Graduate during his Air Force ROTC commissioning ceremony in December. (Contributed photo)

Jonathan Jeffries, right, receives a sabre in recognition of being named a Distinguished Graduate during his Air Force ROTC commissioning ceremony in December. (Contributed photo)

“I think he’s the whole person concept as far as what we would need as a leader,” said Lt. Col. Roxane Engelbrecht, Jeffries’ commanding officer who nominated him for the award. “He is physically fit and he excels academically — those are the first two things. The third is leadership quality and his ability to lead groups of people, not only in the Air Force and Air Force ROTC, but his demonstrated leadership at the university is somewhat unparalleled by most cadets.”

Jeffries was the College of Nursing’s fall 2016 senior class president. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing in December with a 3.89 GPA. He helped to organize a relief effort to aid Greenville flood victims following Hurricane Matthew in the fall of 2016. He also spearheaded his class’s efforts to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society during the 2016 Walk MS fundraiser.

Engelbrecht has nominated five cadets for the award since she came to ECU in 2014. Of those, Jeffries is one of four to have been selected as a recipient.

“It was a huge shock and a huge honor,” Jeffries said of the award, which came in the form of a sabre Engelbrecht presented him at the ceremony. “I’m not one to care about being recognized, but when it does happen it’s definitely nice to see all the effort and all the hard work you’ve put in – throughout your time either with ROTC or at the College of Nursing – be recognized. It was a surreal moment. It was probably one of the best days of my life so far.”

Prior to attending ECU, Jeffries served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three and a half years, but separated from that branch after being injured in pre-deployment training.

Jeffries plans to make a career as an Air Force nurse. He will go to Arizona in February for the Air Force’s 10-week nursing training before being stationed at Eglin Air Force base in Florida.

 

-by Natalie Sayewich

Joyner Library announces exhibition winners

East Carolina University’s Joyner Library has announced the winners of its ninth annual Graduate Student Art and Design Exhibition. Winners were selected from 43 artworks by 20 artists that have been on display since the exhibition’s Oct. 20 opening.

“Jamal Roberts,” by Andrew Wells, graphite and acrylic

“Jamal Roberts,” by Andrew Wells, graphite and acrylic

Winning the Friends of Joyner Library Purchase Award — the competition’s marquee award that comes with a $1,000 prize — was Andrew Wells for his graphite and acrylic painting “Jamal Roberts.”

“When I first saw ‘Jamal Roberts,’ I was struck by its power and relevance,” said Joyner Library Director Jan Lewis, who selected the winner. “In a world where people are too often judged and categorized based on external or superficial characteristics, Andrew Wells reminds us of the pain this causes. Unfortunately, ‘Jamal Roberts’ was as relevant 30 years ago as it is today; I can only hope that 30 years from now, as part of Joyner Library’s permanent art collection, it will be viewed in a historical context, not as a still-current depiction of society.”

Other award winners were:

  • Hosanna Rubio received the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s $500 Dean’s Merit Award for the enamel and metal series “1st Timothy 2:12, Deuteronomy 23.2 and Judges 21:2”
  • Addison Brown, winner of the School of Art and Design’s $350 Director’s Award for the photograph on aluminum “Interrogation”
  • Alex Ingle, winner of the School of Art and Design’s $250 Award for the ceramic sculpture Happy Valentine’s Day
  • Chris Morgan, winner of the Dowdy Student Store’s $50 Award for the bronze sculpture Breaking Free into Subconsciousness

 

Juror Matt Amante, Pitt Community College art instructor, complimented the diversity and strength of the entries.

“Interrogation,” by Addison Brown, photograph on aluminum

“Interrogation,” by Addison Brown, photograph on aluminum

“I am happy with what I selected and feel that they are very deserving of the awards, but I had to almost constantly second-guess myself,” he said. “I appreciated the fact that nearly all of the work forced me to want to spend more time with it and consider it.”

The competition is a collaboration between Joyner Library and the School of Art and Design to showcase some of the best work of the year by art and design students.

“The exhibition provides an opportunity to recognize the artists as well as the faculty from whom they learned. We are thrilled to share their creations with the university community through this annual exhibition,” Lewis said.

The exhibition is on display until Jan. 10 in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery on the second floor of Joyner Library.
–by Jules Norwood

ECU team competes in national robotics competition

East Carolina University’s Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering robotics team took third place at the national ATMAE Conference held Nov. 2-5 in Orlando, Florida.

Led by Zack Cleghorn, an industrial engineering technology student, the team worked from August until October on the ECU robot. Other team members were David Palmieri, Oliver Chen, Cameron Coleman, Chance Smitherman, Luke Pearson, Kyle Marchand, Samuel Saunders and Josh Stevens.

Front row (left to right): David Palmieri, Oliver Chen, Cameron Coleman, Chance Smitherman, Zack Cleghorn. Back row : Luke Pearson, Kyle Marchland, Samuel Saunders, Josh Stevens. (Contributed photo)

Front row (left to right): David Palmieri, Oliver Chen, Cameron Coleman, Chance Smitherman, Zack Cleghorn. Back row: Luke Pearson, Kyle Marchand, Samuel Saunders, Josh Stevens. (Contributed photo)

Faculty members Amy Frank, teaching instructor in technology systems, and Dr. Jimmy Linn, teaching assistant professor, accompanied the team made up of industrial engineering technology, computer science and technology management graduate students. It was the first time many of the students had worked on a project requiring extensive wiring, programming and design decisions.

Team members from a competing team examine the ECU robot on display.

Team members from a competing team examine the ECU robot on display.

The robot had to complete two major circuits at the competition. The first consisted of a burlap bridge, a teeter totter and an automation segment where the robot had to collect five cubes and store them. The second circuit was a relay race in which the robot had to sprint down and collect irregular shaped blocks and return to the starting point. During the competition, the robot experienced a few minor automation failures over the burlap bridge, but was able to complete the teeter totter successfully for both passes.

One of the best features of the robot was its secondary inner wheels, which were 3D printed by Stevens. The wheels were adapted using riveted spokes to help pull the robot over the burlap bridge. With several infra-red sensors, an ultrasonic sensor and an Xbox controller, the robot sprang to life for the automation segment.

A close-up of the finished ECU robot. Several parts were made using a 3D printer.

A close-up of the finished ECU robot. Several parts were made using a 3D printer.

With an aluminum frame, the robot only weighed 25 pounds.

For more information on ATMAE and the robotics team, contact Frank (franka@ecu.edu) or Linn (linnj@ecu.edu) in the Department of Technology Systems.
-by Chance Smitherman, ECU robotics team member

ECU senior receives community impact award

East Carolina University senior Lekisha Pittman was recognized for outstanding leadership and service by North Carolina Campus Compact, a statewide network of colleges and universities with a commitment to civic engagement. Pittman is a recipient of the network’s Community Impact Award, honoring one student leader at each member school.

ECU Senior receives Community Impact Award

ECU senior Lakisha Pittman received the Campus Compact’s Community Impact Award (Contributed photo)

Pittman is a family and community services major from High Point and is a founding member of the ECU Campus Kitchens Project (CKECU) Nutrition Outreach program. She helps lead four nutrition lessons and provides healthy snacks to 40 children each month. Pittman said she does not take what she does on campus or in the community lightly.

“I appreciate that someone else is looking on to what I am doing and I hope that someone is watching me and inspired to do something to make an impact as well,” said Pittman.

Her commitment to nurturing healthy bodies and minds through service has led to more students becoming engaged, growing the nutrition outreach program from one student leader last year to 13 active members and numerous one-time volunteers today. Pittman spends 25 hours a week as an intern with CKECU, conducts research on food insecurity among local senior citizens, and is working with other students to start an on-campus food pantry.

Pittman was honored at the Compact’s annual CSNAP student conference on Nov. 12 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Students and staff from 24 campuses participated in networking opportunities and student-led workshops on diverse community engagement topics and a showcase of organizations working for social change, including the Campus Kitchens Project.

As one of 25 students selected by their campus for the 2016 honor, Pittman joins more than 200 college students recognized by the network since the award was first presented in 2006.

North Carolina Campus Compact is a statewide coalition of 36 public and private community colleges and universities. The network was founded in 2002 and is hosted by Elon University. North Carolina Campus Compact is an affiliate of the national Campus Compact organization, which claims 1,000 member schools representing nearly 2 million college students.
–Jamie Smith

ECU honors graduating veterans

East Carolina University held a ceremony and reception on Nov. 28 to recognize its graduating student veterans, who received red, white and blue tassels and gold challenge coins to commemorate the occasion.

Cords and Pins: ECU’s graduating student veterans received red, white and blue tassels and challenge coins during a recognition ceremony Nov. 28. (Photos by Chris Stansbury)

Cords and Pins: ECU’s graduating student veterans received red, white and blue tassels and challenge coins during a recognition ceremony Nov. 28. (Photos by Chris Stansbury)

First held last fall, the event is organized each semester by Student Veteran Services in the Division of Student Affairs. About 25 students and family members attended this fall’s ceremony.

Chancellor Staton with Keyvin Dixon

Chancellor Staton with Keyvin Dixon

ECU strives to be a military friendly university and is the only school in the UNC System with a veteran success counselor physically housed on campus, helping student veterans and their families navigate their educational careers.

At the recognition ceremony, Chancellor Cecil Staton spoke to the student veterans and their families, as well as faculty and staff in attendance in the Spilman Gallery.

“I commend each one of you for your service to our great country and further applaud your commitment to successfully completing your education,” he said. “Each of you has achieved so much to get to where you are today, and now we look forward to you becoming amazing ambassadors for East Carolina University.”

There are about 500 student veterans currently enrolled at ECU, and 66 are graduating this fall. One of them, Ashley Bonner, shared her personal story with those in attendance.

Chancellor Staton with Taylohr Richardson

Chancellor Staton with Taylohr Richardson

She explained how her three deployments impacted her physically and emotionally and that she struggled to return to a sense of normalcy.  Ashley began working with therapy horses at the Rocking Horse Ranch in Greenville. She said one horse in particular, named Cisco, changed her life.

“I worked very closely with Cisco and taught him a lot, but he taught me even more,” Bonner said. “I learned to trust in myself, have confidence in myself and that I could survive and succeed in my life after taking off my uniform.

“My university, East Carolina University, also gave me opportunities to grow and succeed. The university studies degree with a focus on rehabilitation will open doors that I hope will let me help other veterans making a life transition.”

 

Chancellor Staton with Shante Boseman

Chancellor Staton with Shante Boseman

–Jules Norwood

Turkeypalooza event making a difference for local families

The Campus Kitchen at East Carolina University is making a difference for local families at Thanksgiving.

Since 2013, Campus Kitchen has sponsored Turkeypalooza to provide a traditional Thanksgiving meal for area families.

The Campus Kitchen at East Carolina University is making a difference for local families in need of a Thanksgiving meal. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

The Campus Kitchen at East Carolina University is making a difference for local families in need of a Thanksgiving meal. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

In total, 26 departments, schools, colleges or organizations on campus provided donations for 40 families. Sponsorship included $25 for a turkey as well as creating a box of meal supplies, including stuffing, gravy, vegetables and dessert items.

“Our goal is to help 40 families have a Thanksgiving meal this year, and the families were chosen with the help of our community partners,” said Lekisha Pittman, event manager for Turkeypalooza.

The community partners for this year’s Turkeypalooza include Operation Sunshine, the Little Willie Center, the JOY Soup Kitchen and the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern N.C.

“The ECU Campus Kitchen selected 20 Little Willie Center families to provide for this Thanksgiving,” said Melissa L. Arrington, program volunteer coordinator for the Little Willie Center. “The need for this project is extremely great. Recently, Hurricane Matthew affected our state, leaving many families displaced from their homes. Now, everyone is seeking help to get back on their feet. This is a blessing and a great start.”

The Campus Kitchen at East Carolina University is making a difference for local families in need of a Thanksgiving meal. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Nationwide, the Campus Kitchen Project includes more than 55 high school and college campuses that participate in Turkeypalooza each year. ECU’s group will deliver meals this week, while other campuses will host a meal on Thanksgiving Day.


–Sophronia Knott

ECU students present research in unique competition

Forty-two East Carolina University undergraduate and graduate students gave their “elevator speech” about research they’re doing during the annual Three Minute Thesis competition on Oct. 26.

While the event wasn’t held in an elevator (it happened in the Mendenhall Great Rooms), the concept was the same: clearly and concisely summarize research in three minutes or less, using only one PowerPoint slide.

Graduate student Molly Albecker rhythmically talks about frogs on logs in salty bogs and racing the rising tide during the Three Minute Thesis competition on Oct. 26.

Graduate student Molly Albecker rhythmically talks about frogs on logs in salty bogs and racing the rising tide during the Three Minute Thesis competition on Oct. 26. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Divided into two parts, 13 undergraduate students competed in the morning while 29 graduate students presented in the afternoon.

Students from a range of departments and majors participated, and the graduate competition featured thesis and dissertation projects from masters and doctoral students. Individual heats were held with the two top-scoring students moving to the championship round.

In the undergraduate competition, Mira Sampath, a multidisciplinary studies major, was named grand champion. Jayati Vyas, who is majoring in psychology, took second place while chemistry major Jared Keever won third. Sampath’s mentor was Dr. Alex Murashov, associate professor of physiology. Vyas was mentored by Dr. Michael Baker, assistant professor of psychology, and Keever was advised by Dr. Fadi Issa, assistant professor of biology.

Graduate student Tyler Whittier presents on the difficulty of learning a new running style in ECU’s Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms.

Graduate student Tyler Whittier presents on the difficulty of learning a new running style in ECU’s Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms.

Sophronia Knott, who is pursuing a master’s degree in English, took grand champion in the graduate competition for her presentation, “A Literary and Narrative Comparison of Sylvia Plath’s Journals and Marya Hornbacher’s ‘Wasted’ and ‘Madness.’”

As the winner, Knott will represent ECU at regional competition this spring at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Meeting in Annapolis, Maryland.

Graduate students also competed for the Department Cup and People’s Choice Award.

The biology department won the Department Cup with the highest combined total of the top three scoring competitors.

Graduate student Adam Stuckert won the People’s Choice Award for his research presentation titled “Surviving to Sex: A ‘Shout’ Out to Predators.”

Graduate student Adam Stuckert won the People’s Choice Award for his research presentation titled “Surviving to Sex: A ‘Shout’ Out to Predators.”

Adam Stuckert received the People’s Choice Award for his presentation titled “Surviving to Sex: A ‘Shout’ Out to Predators.” Biology professor Dr. Kyle Summers was Stuckert’s advisor.

More information about the worldwide event is available online at http://threeminutethesis.org/.

ECU College of Education honors scholarship recipients and donors

More than 100 students in East Carolina University’s College of Education have received a record amount of scholarship support for this academic year.

More than $550,000 in merit and need-based scholarships has been distributed to 106 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral education students. The awards range from $250 to $20,000. All education students are eligible to receive some of the awards while others are earmarked for specific education majors or programs.

“Attracting the best students and ensuring access to an East Carolina University education rank among our highest priorities at ECU—and scholarships help us accomplish both of these objectives,” said Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for advancement at ECU, who spoke Aug. 26 at the College of Education’s Scholarship Recipient and Donor Recognition Ceremony at Rock Springs Center.

At center, Dr. Paul Gemperline, dean of the ECU Graduate School, stands with graduate students (left to right) Lauren Master, Sarah Burke, Paula Howell, Idella Wilson and Matesha Jones who received Master in Teacher (MAT) Tuition grants-in-aid. The scholarships are awarded to students who show outstanding promise for significant contributions to the field of education. The funds support MAT students during their full-time internship semester and are funded by the ECU Graduate School.

At center, Dr. Paul Gemperline, dean of the ECU Graduate School, stands with graduate students (left to right) Lauren Master, Sarah Burke, Paula Howell, Idella Wilson and Matesha Jones who received Master in Teacher (MAT) Tuition grants-in-aid. The scholarships are awarded to students who show outstanding promise for significant contributions to the field of education. The funds support MAT students during their full-time internship semester and are funded by the ECU Graduate School.

At the event, Dr. Grant Hayes, dean of the College of Education, acknowledged the importance of student support.

“The college is committed to preparing talented education professionals in many fields, including counseling, adult education, educational leadership, and library science, to name a few,” said Hayes at the ceremony. “It is inspiring to see how our donors are making it possible for these exceptional individuals to pursue their passions and impact the lives of others in a positive way.”

Scholarships are often established with private funds to honor or remember influential educators and support the academic pursuits of future education professionals. 

“For many of our students, the importance of scholarships and financial aid cannot be overstated,” said Dyba. “Today’s shifting economy poses a significant challenge, but donors like you turn our students’ dreams into a reality.”

ECU’s College of Education is the largest producer of new teachers in the state and the oldest professional school on campus. The mission of the College of Education is the preparation of professional educators and allied practitioners, including teachers, counselors, media coordinators, special education professionals, and principals and administrators.

For more information, visit ECU’s university scholarships website at www.ecu.edu/universityscholarships.

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